PR: UK Firms Ignore New Media
Lethargic adoption of new media technology is causing a communications crisis within UK based global organisations, according to independent new research published today by Vanson Bourne and Forbidden Technologies.
Internals Comms Crisis as UK Firms Ignore New Media
London, July 21st 2004: Lethargic adoption of new media technology is causing a communications crisis within UK based global organisations, according to independent new research published today by Vanson Bourne and Forbidden Technologies.
The results show corporate communications departments find current online tools such as email and intranets to be ineffective, and that organisations are unwilling to adopt new media technologies - including video streaming - despite a clear understanding of the benefits. Interestingly, many senior executives still consider the office tour to be the most effective vehicle for global communication.
- Theory Not Practice. Over sixty percent of directors admit their organisations do not communicate well with employees, and forty percent admit employees are not aware of the company vision or future direction
- Technophobia. Traditional tactics are failing but less than one third of companies believe email and intranets are the most effective ways of delivering a message to a global internal audience
- Swimming Upstream. Despite sixty four percent of department heads seeing value in new visual media, such as video streaming, less than one in ten firms have tried this technology
- Perceived Problems. Incorrect perceptions of technical cost and complexity are stifling adoption of new technologies
The survey questioned 100 heads of corporate communications and marketing within the UK's largest companies about the challenges of communicating to a global internal audience.
"Despite the best efforts of departmental heads, the research shows that effective internal communication across a disparate network of global offices remains a huge challenge," said Graham Opie, research director, Vanson Bourne. "Its importance is clearly understood, however the study confirms that many corporations lack either the understanding or commitment to realise the benefits of new communications technology."
"Current forms of electronic communication - such as email and intranets - are perceived as being ineffective, yet face to face presentations are impractical, costly and infrequent," said Greg Hirst, business development director of Forbidden Technologies. "It is unsurprising then that firms are failing to provide effective internal communications. And with the failure of existing tactics it is clear that they must look to new, more impactful ways to deliver the corporate message."
The report identifies video streaming as one such new technology development that is gaining increasing support within the space. An overwhelming majority (sixty four percent) of department heads see value in delivering a highly visual, impactful internal corporate message using video over the Internet. However, less than one in ten firms use video steaming, citing inaccurate perceptions of high cost and technical complexity.
"Video streaming can solve many of the problems facing today's internal communications heads and because there is no requirement for additional hardware or software, it is a very cost effective medium," said Hirst. "CEOs no longer need to travel to deliver a personal message to global employees, and instead can present 'live and direct' via the Internet to PC users across the global organisation, regardless of Internet connectivity speed."
In addition to streaming live events direct to the PC, such as CEO presentations, financial statements and even AGMs, video streaming also enables internal departments to deliver recorded video content via email, including introductions from new senior staff, new products demos, health and safety training and HR policy.
"The research concludes that many UK companies need to rethink communications strategy if they are to get their message across to a disparate global audience," said Opie. "Current tactics are ineffective and organisations must be prepared to adopt new media technologies to ensure real impact."
The report indicates that the importance of internal communications is clearly understood, but the key enabling role of new technology is not," concludes Hirst.
The full survey report is available on request from Chris Gent at Octopus Communications.